A year ago at this time, the old Monsterland in Mesa was abuzz with all sorts of freaky and frightening activity. These days, however, the scene at the location that formerly housed the now-defunct haunted attraction is just as lively, although things are a bit more bright and cheery than before.
The Castle on Main, a medieval-themed wedding and events venue, has taken over the downtown Mesa space that once was home to Monsterland and will hold its grand opening on Friday evening. And there's nary any ghouls or goblins inside the place.
See also: Monsterland in Mesa Won't Re-Open
As we reported over the summer, property owner Kevin Wynn scrapped plans to reopen the combination haunted house and nightspot (which had a tumultuous history as a haunted house and later on as a horror-themed restaurant/bar and Halloween attraction) in favor of turning it into wedding and events spot. He then sold its collection of props and creatures to 13th Floor Haunted House.
Jennifer Jones, a wedding coordinator and events specialist at the venue, says that the Castle on Main's staff spent the past few months exorcising most of the remnants of Monsterland that weren't sold (save for a single creature left in the basement and a few fixtures) while rebooting the location into its new identity.
"Yeah, they're all gone. The only monsters that we hope to see come in here are our bridezillas, really," Jones quips. "Just kidding."
Proprietors of the wedding and event venue kept Monsterland's castle façade, hence its new name, but upgraded it with a paint job, covered it with faux ivy, and added several suits of armor to accentuate the medieval theme.
"We kept most of the castle and added all the event decor and wedding décor," she says.
That isn't the only changes that were made, however, as Jones estimates that $100,000 worth of upgrades were made while transforming Monsterland into The Castle on Main, including installing 10 crystal chandeliers, posh furniture, lighting displays, a pool table, and other amenities.
The location also sports a new reception area, buffet room, and suites for both brides and grooms.
"We know that we're a part of Monsterland's history. And we wish it would it would've taken off more, but this is just another way to have a fun and unique place for everyone," Jones says. "I think that it's the sort of venue for somebody who may want a goth wedding or a Victorian wedding. We're definitely a fairy tale sort of venue with a castle feel."
And, interestingly enough, geeks are still coming by the location, although it's to secure a date for their future nuptials.
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"I just got done booking one for 2015 for someone that was a huge fan of Monsterland," Jones says.
Fittingly, she adds, it's a themed wedding that will be happening on Halloween.
The Castle on Main's grand opening takes place from 4 p.m to 8 p.m. Friday, October 25, and will include free food and drinks, as well as live entertainment. Admission is free.